Do you want a job that is high in demand? Has a lower entry barrier? One that can make money and get you paid right away? How about a bonus of prolonging your fitness health?
Not bad and there’s three more words: make dogs happy.
Pet sitting and dog walking on Rover.com is the perfect kind of self-start-up business for a lot of people.
It can be done mid-day for extra cash when the kids are in school. It is perfect for senior citizens who need
Dog walking and dog boarding services are extremely popular in big cities. Busy career professionals own and love dogs but do not have free time throughout the day to tend to them.
It’s a very necessary service. Pet sitters provide dogs exercise and the value of their company. They provide dog owners with a peace of mind. In return, you can break through minimum wage rates while maintaining fitness.
Pricing Rates of Services
These are rough general ranges since location and experience vary.
- Dog Walking Prices: $8 to $20 per dog for a 30 minute walk session.
- Dog In-Home Checking: This is when a trusted sitters come during the day to let your dog out and exercise them. Similar to dog walking rates except with more responsibility and trust.
- Dog Daycare Prices: $25 to $60 per dog for a regular work day. Sometimes holiday rates can go up to double between $55 to $120.
- Dog Overnight Prices: $30 to $75 per dog per night; similar to a range of daycare prices but higher. It’s normal to add on a partial cost for overnights.
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What Impacts Prices
Everyone thinks pet sitting is straightforward but there are aspects that will impact earnings. These are listed and discussed below.
Dog walking and dog boarding command prices depending on location. Since this is something that can be done on a small scale (apartment, condo, house) or in a more commercial setting with a number of other sitters.
Pet sitting in giant urban cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, even Seattle are high in demand. Finding constant and stable clientele is easier.
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“Are people really paying you to walk with their dog?”
Before 1983, pet sitting was not a common “career” choice. If you wanted someone to come to your house, take your dog out, etc. people would think that’s odd.
That is not the case today. For example, a couple on the Rover platform living half a mile south of us brings in an estimated $100,000 a year as full-time professional dog sitters.
They charge $50 dollars per dog boarding and can take up to 6 dogs for their sized yard and home. They are almost always booked year around, especially during holidays where their prices go up to $75 for boarding.
As mentioned above, you also have to consider climate and holidays. Walking a dog in winter amidst snow is much harder than walking on ADA sidewalks. All prices should reflect that along with how it impacts demand.
During holiday seasons, it’s not uncommon for rates to double for Christmas.
How much you make depends on the range of services. Are you able to perform dog CPR or administer injections?
Do you do house drop-ins? People only hire the most professional and trusted sitters. That means treating everything with the utmost respect as common courtesy.
For dog walkers, are you healthy enough to walk and run with dogs? Are they quick under emergency response if a dog is harmed or lost?
Do you have experience with large sized dogs?
Years of Experience
There are two main ways to get started and that totally depends on the goals you have in mind.
If the goal is to make extra money then join an already established agency like Rover. Rover has their own customers base and has their own ecosystem. It’s like the “Uber” of the dog world.
This ecosystem includes payment processing, Rover customers, search visibility, Rover reputation, Rover call support and they have a hotline for emergencies. It’s a good springboard for career sitters to start their journey.
The second option is to train under someone who already has set up a business that’s professional leased, licensed, and bonded for example.
The last door is to start your own pet sitting company. You are responsible for everything from insurance to taxes to branding but establishing one means your income potential is higher, no “boss” to deal with, you can hire help and do everything on a larger scale.
Low cost, high impact marketing is what you should focus on. Good marketing means better rates because dog walking and dog sitting are so relevant to people with pets.
Business cards, car signs, car stickers, flyers, lapel badges, bulletin boards, Craiglist, friends, and word of mouth. Harvesting trust and experience is a really big thing too. People think of their pets as a member of their family.
Building rapport and establishing clientele takes longer but the payout is amazing. This
In order to build a good reputation, sitters and walkers need to be responsible, trusted, honest people who enjoy being with animals and have common sense with experience under pressure. You have to follow our heart first, before you follow the money, for a longterm career.
Rover makes it easier to dip your toe in and try it out for extra cash at first. It doesn’t mean you have to jump full time into a career of it. Experience with pets should usually start out as a way to make extra money and then realizing how much you enjoy it.
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In the United States, there is no certification needed for dog walking or dog boarding on Rover.
But it doesn’t mean they don’t exist and having certifications do help get client trust faster. The testing becomes a quality assurance to make sure a minimum level of standard is set. Check out PetSit.com for their
It helps dog owners feel better about hiring a dog walker to walk their dogs, care for their dogs and homes long-term.
Having certifications when you own a business help lower your insurance rates.
Your rates as a sitter will be impacted by several factors but rough price ranges are typically between $10 to $30 for dog walking and $25 and up for dog boarding and care.
Get $20 and sign up to become a pet sitter or dog walker on Rover.
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Thanks for this post Lily!
I’ve always been interested in dog sitting, especially with Rover. It’s in very high demand in our neighborhood, and people are willing to pay good money for their babies to go to good, reliable sitters.
However, I’ve been fearful of getting into it because:
1. I’m worried about getting a bad dog that’ll destroy our house/have a lot of yucky accidents/be difficult.
2. I’m worried about overly-attached and anxious doggy parents that’ll make dog sitting a chore.
Have you had any such experiences? Or are the bad experiences few and far enough between that I shouldn’t let the worry about them stop me?
Merry For Money says
1. Rover is great because if the dog becomes unstable or agitated, they have a support line for you to reach out and get help. Rover has a review system too and that will tell you what the dog is like with other sitters, how the owners are, etc. I use to only do accounts with prev reviews.
2. I have dealt with one overly attached dog, he likes to sleep right against of me at all times haha. But if it’s really bad – sitters should politely decline the next reservation request.
Launch your blog already girl!!
I should also say we LOVE dogs, and would have our own, but are too busy to commit.
We also regularly watch our friends’ and families’ fur babies (like once every two to three months). We do it for free though, just because we love their pets and love spending time with them that much!
So we are animal lovers who would happily watch easy, well-behaved dogs for free. The money from Rover would just be gravy – not our only or even our main motivation.
Merry For Money says
It’s good money, especially if you land a repeating client 🙂 that to me is as good as passive income because we own pets ourselves already so what’s one more.
Denise Hilton says
I have been using Wagwalking and currently taking care of 2 dogs. I make around $2500 per month since I am doing it full-time (8 hours). There’s another website called Pawshake and they also offer very good rates. Here’s a nice guide if you need more info https://www.webemployed.com/get-paid-for-dog-sitting-jobs/